News Release: Leading ENT Consultant calls for Patient Satisfaction to be put at the Heart of the NHS and Healthcare

Michael Oko, head of sleep service at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT), and founder of the Snoring Disorders Centre, which specialises in treating sleep apnoea, has called for the NHS to provide patients with a complete set of information when choosing where to go for treatment.

What is important to a patient? According to Lincolnshire patients what they want is: to be seen locally; by a friendly doctor; in a timely manner; in a pleasant and clean environment; and to be given a high quality service. The level of success in achieving of all these things by a healthcare provider is measurable, and is measured at ULHT using the latest interactive technology. However, patients and GPs need access to the information when booking, and need to have comparable information from other providers.

Sleep apnoea expert Mr Oko said, “At the moment there is no evidence available to patients and GPs through Choose and Book about the quality of the service they would expect to receive. People need to be given the full picture from healthcare providers, whether public or private, and then they can make an informed choice. patient satisfaction should be at the heart of the NHS. Healthcare is a service industry, but it doesn’t seem to behave like one. If you’ve got no evidence that you are delivering a good service to your patients, then it is impossible to review and improve upon.”

The Jayex QI Interactive system allows ULHT to obtain the information that can enable consultants like Mr Oko to transform services to specifically meet the needs of the patient. By continually monitoring patient feedback all year round in real-time, they can avoid only hearing the complaints, analyse performance on an ongoing basis, and share best practice across the Trust where clinicians and consultants regularly receive positive feedback.

Mr Oko saw 383 patients at the Snoring Disorders Centre from April 2010 to April 2011 and on average 96% of patients were very satisfied with the service they received across five categories (understanding, explanations, friendliness, politeness, listening), and 82.5% were very satisfied with the cleanliness and pleasantness of the surroundings (with 96.5% satisfied or very satisfied).

Mr Oko added, “An essential part of the revalidation process is measuring patient feedback and healthcare organisations must deploy the tools that will enable them to gather feedback and measure performance in advance of revalidation. Every Trust and clinician is under great pressure to perform in a challenging financial climate. In order to provide high-quality care you ultimately need to be thinking about your patients, what they want and how you can improve it. Unless you have an efficient method to monitor and measure the patient’s experience, the coming years will be considerably tough.”

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries and interview requests please contact: Guy Rowland, tel: 0033(0)615342089 guyrowland@gmail.com

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  1. Darshan’s avatar

    I will address two barierrs to joined up health services: Interoperability and consent.Every computer system holds data in a proprietary way and needs to translate this into a common format before it can be shared. The only common factor is the patient. The solution is to provide a single generic structure for a patient’s own personal health record, which can be accessed by the patient (perhaps with help) and shared subject to consent with other health professionals. A good deal of work has already been done to specify what such a common personal health record should look like, such as the WellCome Trust’s Sintero project, and work in IHE-UK. Earlier work such as Google Health Record and Microsoft Health Vault provide exemplars. The issue on consent is that many patients would like to share their health information with whoever they wish (but with no one else). Recent research on de-perimeterised access control provides a way for patients to share information securely beyond the perimeters of a single information governance network. This gives the patient control of their information; they become the data controller for use outside the originating organisation’s security perimeter, choosing who can see what when and where. See for example the TSB miConsent project.

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